Hundreds face delay to business rates relief

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Hundreds of companies due to receive business rates relief will face a delay to their discounts due to issues with some councils’ computer systems.

A total of 75 local authorities have been told by their software provider that changes to bills cannot be made until after the new financial year, The Times reports.

The government outlined plans last year to increase the current business rates discount for small retailers from one-third off to 50% off.

It said nine out of 10 independent firms would qualify for the relief, which is available to retailers with a rateable value of below £51,000.

Last week the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government told councils to “act promptly to ensure businesses receive the increased support in their rates bills at the start of the financial year”.